where it all started…………..

They say that the ability to recall memories from early childhood varies from person to person. Some are able to remember events from when they were three years old, while others do not. In many instances certain images of one’s childhood evoke memories that would have otherwise been forgotten. Personally I am not certain where the vague events of childhood have secured their roots in my memory. Unfortunately I do not seem to remember much before the age of 4 or 5.

Yet naturally, I do have quite fond memories of growing up fishing/boating. I am not sure where this fishing infatuation started for me, a box of squid and endless bent rods on patch reefs catching grunt after grunt? Maybe it was the mosquito ridden trips to the interior of the glades with a bucket of 10 dz. shrimp and a popping cork? Or possibly the first bonefish that melted the line off my reel like nothing I had ever seen before?

Nonetheless the memories are there, somewhere not easily evoked, however fishing with my daughter brings up a lot of them and as she gets older our explorations have grown as well. Back in late Fall we had quite a strong run of memorable fishing trips, each day seemingly better than the next. Many permit tagged for Bonefish Tarpon Trust, our first slam, some afternoons filling the cooler with snappers/lobsters, some journeying in the flooded cypress forests………….…we were sharing many good vibes which is easy to overlook with so much hustle and bustle going on around us.

The flooded cypress forest always brings some smiles for a lazy day in the sweetwater……………

Yet even at 3yrs old, her and I think a lot alike, and when the weekend rolls around she persistently requests to head out on the skiff in search of “fishies to kiss”. Who am I to deny a little girl? And on one notable late September day we set out to fulfill her wishes.

Despite the fact of working quite hard to find some fish, by mid-day we still were battling the ‘ol goose egg as no “fishies” were kissed and we almost threw in the towel. Convincingly I persuaded her to take a long swim then we could attempt the afternoon tide. As luck would have it over the course of a few hours we had many opportunities to fulfill her request………..

Tag # BTT05129

Tag # BTT05135

Tag # BTT05145

She was down with the plan…………….

Not all fish were greeted with kisses…………..

By late afternoon we had left them biting on the best day we have shared on the water yet, hooking 4 permit tagging 3, catching 3 tarpon jumping lots, and 2 bonefish losing our third and last fish next to skiff…………..our first double (almost triple) slam.

With little time for myself these days I am making due with my only alternative to getting out on the skiff. Unfortunately my requests to fish with the guys are getting more often denied as my wife reminds me I catch more fish with the kids, there are worse things to complain about I guess…………….

Good luck to everyone fishing the Salty Fly this coming weekend…………..Sam’s tireless efforts clearly produce a great event!